Growing, Not Dying

Welcome to my insights, ponderings, and experiences. Hopefully they will enrich you in some small way, or at least make you laugh.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Faking Laughter for "Laughing Yoga"

My husband sent me an article about Laughing Yoga. You fake laughing for a period of time. Since your brain can't tell the difference between the real thing and a sincere fake it will go right ahead and release all the endorphins, making you feel good. It also has great healing properties for the body.

All that said, I discovered something today. The brain can't tell the difference from a fake laugh and a real laugh. Neither can my 2 yr old. Made her bust up laughing right along with me. That made me really laugh, so my infant joined-in. The boys came and began laughing too. It left us all feeling pretty good.....and it was all started from a good fake.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

The Power of the Blank Page

Sitting and looking at a blank page is to see an endless amount of possibilities. Stories of excitement, daring, adventure, and love wait to be revealed. Stokes of genuis, scientific discoveries that will change the course of mankind. Tales of grief that runs so deep as to break the readers heart. Notes of gratitude still waiting to be expressed. Great plans for the furture and the paths to get there. The outpouring of a love letter that touches the depths of the human soul.

Hopes, dreams, promises....

All lie on the blank page waiting for your hand.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Healing the World...One Child at a Time

There are a lot of very worth while causes to contribute money to. (I, personally, favor about 5, and would do more if I could.) Today I would like to invite each of you to consider one inparticular and see if it moves you in any way.

World Vision sponsors children in countries all over the world. They bring medicine, education, and needed supplies. The dig well, build schools, and teach irrigation. One of the things I particularly like about this organization is they want to teach the people, particularly the children, how to make better lives for themselves as well as provide immediate relief.

I sponsor a child in the Phillippines. His name is Jeric and he is 8 years old. He write every 2-3 months, in cursive. :) Smart kid. He likes playing with his friends and helping his dad with the corn. He has 3 younger siblings. And he always says, "thank you for being my sponsor."

It's only $30 a month, which isn't much. (If only I could raise a kid in the US for $30 a week!) They have children in all different countries, various ages and either gender. If you feel moved at all to help these children have clean water, clothes and an education, please visit www.worldvision.org

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Teaching Teens and Youth About Sex

After an e-mail on my post about Sex Toys in Wal-Mart, I decided to revisit the topic along a different vein. Keep in mind, these are only my opinions.

"Relationships," like money, isn't taught in school. It's learned at home where, unfortunately, the models are often not ideal. What we usually learn is simply not to talk about it. At best we might learn the basic mechanics of it. After that it's what society tells us, that it should be all passionate, exciting, senual, safe, and the main focus of a relationship. And if you aren't "doing it" something is wrong with you.

There are those who want to teach their kids, but they don't know what to say. How much do I say? What do they already know? Isn't it going to be akward?

In our church we attempt to teach our youth abstance. However, it is obviously still an uncomfortable topic for many of the adults. They still use terms like "petting" and "necking." I didn't understand those when I was younger. Today's youth just find them silly. I had the opportunity to teach 16 yr olds once. The kids gasped and giggled nerouvsly when I used the word "sex." Why dance around it? Frank honesty shows more respect for the subject than cute pet names. Besides, they are certainly old enough to be talked to plainly about it. You can be plain and respectful at the same time. There is no reason to be crude or vulgar, but vagueness just leaves confussion and that doesn't help anyone.

So, if you are going to talk about it the best way to start is by laying it out. "I'd like to talk to you about sex." Don't be put off by the reactions you get. (Rolling eyes, sacrcasm, embarrassment, or other put-offs simply mean they heard you.) Forge ahead. If nothing else you are opening the door to a dialouge and showing you care. If you are unsure what they might know, ask. Truely it's that simple. I would not suggest opening with, "Do you have any questions?" They probably wouldn't know what to ask or would feel too weird asking.

So start at the begining. Take into account the child's age and comprehenssion level. Younger children (5-8) often start with questions about where babies come from. (My oldest (7) started with a question about how babies come out, if it was out of the same place animals lay eggs.) Older children (10-12) are benefitted by being enlightened to what is happening/will happen to their bodies as puberty begins. Then you can go into the things leading up to sex and your moral beleifs about them: kissing, making-out, ect.

Then sex: Not only is there the mechanics of how intercourse is done, but your beliefs about when is it ok. What about oral sex? Is that appropriate? Reassure them there is NEVER a time you "owe" someone sexual favors, nor are you ever "entitled" to it. Their body is always their own. No one will like you more or longer if you do allow them access to any part of your body or sexually exciting actions. If that's what is keeping them around, they are just using you and you will regret it later.

In your own relationships practice getting comfortable discussing sex with your partner. If you can't even talk to the person you are having sex with, it will be considerably more uncomfortable talking to youth about it.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Flowing With the Universe

"Want more peace in your life? What about money? Love? All of it is trying to come to you. Simply learn to harmonize with the Universe." Great ad, yet so true.

Do you know what advise I would give someone trying to learn to harmonize with the Universe? I will tell you. Two things. 1) Drop your shoulders 2)Breathe (not in that order)

Now, I will admit totally honestly I am not an expert on this. In fact I have lived much of my life fighting the Universe. Only recently have I been awakened to the idea of possibly living without struggle. As I embark on this new path it must constantly be brought to my attention that it is NOT meant to be "hard work." In fact if it feels like effort I am doing it wrong!

So, first: drop the shoulders. Tension builds up in tight shoulders. Often life gets hectic, we are a very busy society, and we begin to tense up our bodies without realizing it. (Personally, I think I am always tense if I am not making a conscious effort not to be.) We allow stress ad constriction into our lives and it manifests in the body. Just as blood has a hard time flowing through a constricting valve, the Universe has a hard time sending blessings through a constricting life! So, drop your shoulders, ease the constriction and allow good things to begin flowing.

Second: breathe. Slow down. Ever hear "the breath of life?" This is it, flowing through you. Breathe. Concentrate on the simple in...out... Clear your mind, even if only for a second. Slow down. In and Out. Refocus. For this moment everything stops rushing at you in a confusing blur. For this moment every event in the Universe is happening in perfect harmony, exactly as it is suppose to. Breathe. In. Out. For just this second slow down enough to breathe. Deeply.

When you think you are ready to try going a little more big time, do both at once! Drop shoulders. Deep breath in. Let it all out. Release the shoulders some more. Breathe. I find 3-5 good deep breaths helpful.

Ready to move into a more "zen-like" life style? Practice catching yourself in a harried rushed moment and just breathe.

Good luck and remember.....breathe.

Monday, October 10, 2005

The True Hero in You

Deep within lies the desire to be "more." We each secretly hope there is more to life than what we have become, some greater calling. If only someone would believe in us, give us a chance or a reason we would miraculously become this amazing being. So many of us go through life looking for that "someone" who will awaken this better person, a parent, a coach, a lover, a child. We hope, we pray, sometimes we practically beg for the someone to "just give me a chance."

I think I finally figured out who it is in life that can be the one to bring out this greater person. Do you want to know who? Who is the mysterious person in your life that can awaken your inner hero?

Come close. I will tell you. *whispering* It is you.

Within each of us there is a voice crying out, "Believe in me! Please!" This one many of us hear very well. We simply thought it was begging someone, anyone, out there in the big world. In reality, it is a cry from within your own heart, to yourself.

To find the greater hero in yourself....simply listen and be true to that voice in your heart.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

No More Bad Days

I have decided to have no more "bad days." It may sound crazy, but I don't like them so simply won't have them. Recovering from "depression" it is easy to slip into the habit of just feeling apathetic about everything. Or got to my other extreme where I am just angry at everything. This is just no fun. So, I have decided no more bad days.

From now on I will do my best to notice when I am not responding well and only have a bad half-day, or a bad hour. Eventually I hope to work my way to a bad minute. Can you imagine when one of your friends walks up with that look of deep concern and says, "Hey, is somthing wrong?" You take a deep breath and say, "Woo. Glad that's over. I was having a bad minute there. For at least a full second I thought it might be one of the worst minutes of my life! But, it's over now. The rest of the day is good."

Yeah....that will be nice.

The Secret Lie

Do you ever feel like somewhere deep down there is a secret part of you that hides from the world? You act very confident and grown-up, like you are in charge of yourlife. Everyone sees you are in control. You have things pretty figured out. Life is good.

Then there is this secret that tugs at your mind. "You don't really know what you are doing. If they knew, they'd laugh at you. You don't know what to do! You are really still just a kid playing like you know what's going on. Don't let anyone know!"

This secret threatens to expose you all the time. It controls you. Makes you get fancy things in order to look more important, presses you to work harder, more hours, dress the kids just right, make them behave just so, keeps you from dancing at parties and playing in the rain. It helps you "keep things in check" so you look good enough.

But deep in your heart, ever so faintly there comes an idea, barely more than a whisper. It runs to your very core, but is so quiet it might just be your imagination....

"The secret is the lie."

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Honey's Special Birthday!!

Today is my Honey's Birthday! So, if you get a minute, please, drop him a line telling him HAPPY BIRTHDAY! His name is Jim.

jimsbirthday@mckeeth.org